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The English press is reporting that England striker Emile Heskey is poised to make a surprise return to Liverpool next summer.

Heskey spent four seasons at Liverpool after joining for a then-record fee of £11million in 2000. The former Leicester City player scored 22 goals during his first full season on Merseyside and struck up an excellent partnership with Michael Owen, but his output gradually dwindled over the years and he was sold to Birmingham City in 2004.

Now, after several years in the wilderness, Heskey is making headlines with his exceptional performances alongside Wayne Rooney for England. Several clubs are reported to be interested, and Wigan Athletic boss Steve Bruce has confessed several times that he has little hope of holding onto the 30-year-old if the big boys come knocking.

Heskey revealed yesterday that he is desperate to play in the Champions League once again, and both the Daily Mail and The Sun claim that Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez is eager to give him that opportunity.

The Reds are in the market for a centre-forward, as they currently possess precious little cover for start striker Fernando Torres. David N'Gog is nexperienced, while Dirk Kuyt has found his niche on the right flank and Robbie Keane does his best work behind the front-man.

Benitez is a known admirer of unselfish, hard-working attackers - as evidenced by his willingness to spend over £30million on Kuyt and Keane - and would consider Heskey an ideal addition to his already potent squad.

The Latics hitman, who is certain to feature against his old club at Anfield this weekend, will be available for free at the end of the season, although Benitez may wish to move sooner to snuff out competition from Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur.
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